Proteoglycans: Potential Agents in Mammographic Density and the Associated Breast Cancer Risk

Michael S. Shawky, Carmela Ricciardelli, Megan Lord, John Whitelock, Vito Ferro, Kara Britt, Erik W. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Although increased mammographic density (MD) has been well established as a marker for increased breast cancer (BC) risk, its pathobiology is far from understood. Altered proteoglycan (PG) composition may underpin the physical properties of MD, and may contribute to the associated increase in BC risk. Numerous studies have investigated PGs, which are a major stromal matrix component, in relation to MD and BC and reported results that are sometimes discordant. Our review summarises these results and highlights discrepancies between PG associations with BC and MD, thus serving as a guide for identifying PGs that warrant further research towards developing chemo-preventive or therapeutic agents targeting pre-invasive or invasive breast lesions, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-131
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Glypican
  • Heparanase
  • Mammographic density
  • Perlecan
  • Proteoglycans
  • Syndecan
  • Versican

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